The Government of Dominica is partnering with the Organization of America States (OAS) to convene a virtual “Thought Leaders Roundtable Dialogue” for leaders of the sector on Thursday 11th February, 2021, from 10:00 am.
This activity is being undertaken through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Community Development, the Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business and Export Development and the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD), is partnership with the Organization of America States (OAS) Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI), and other key stakeholders.
The Thought Leaders Roundtable is being held to discuss the establishment of an Entrepreneurial Community of Practice within the Creative Sector in Dominica. The virtual Roundtable will hear from the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica who will provide his vision for the sector and how it is to contribute to a more robust economy for a Dynamic Dominica. The event will also hear several presentations by local and international sector leaders and experts who will speak to current realities facing the sector and ways to engage stakeholders in this new partnership for growth and development.
The Roundtable is the first step in the development of an initiative to provide targeted interventions to harness the potential of the Creative Sector to spur employment and economic growth. It will facilitate the opportunity to present the vision of the Government for the creative communities of Dominica, followed by a dialogue with thought leaders with proven global experiences in the successful deployment of grassroots entrepreneurial approaches to generate new revenue streams among creative communities. Local representatives in the Creative Sector will also share their perspectives on the state of affairs, opportunities and challenges within their respective sub-sectors. Local stakeholders and international experts will then explore initiatives and modalities to spur community-led movements to enhance value and position the Creative Sector as a key contributor to social and economic development.
Ahead of the Roundtable, the Minister for Sports, Culture and Community Development, Hon. Roselyn Paul spoke highly of the importance of the event and the support of the OAS for this bold initiative. Accordingly, Hon. Paul stated:
“It is our intention to work with the OAS and other regional partners to forge the type of partnership that will help Dominica to better realize the full potential of its Creative Sector,” Minister Paul stated. “The OAS will be working closely with us in putting together a national plan and programme that will focus on capacity building for the sector, identifying policy and institutional gaps which will require the attention of the Government and other partners and working with creatives to create the conditions for building a stronger and more competitive sector in Dominica.”
The Minister also highlighted Dominica’s “unique position” as a major player in the cultural sphere in the region, and pointed to the country’s dynamic music sub-sector and its successes over the past several decades being able to create two genres of music, its fledgling film and audio-visual sub-sector with a team of very dedicated young filmmakers and a vibrant festival and events sector with the potential for major growth in the coming years.
She also mentioned the building of a national fashion and design sub-sector led by a number of very dynamic and talented designers, several outstanding visual artistes as well as a dance and theatre sub-sector with proven talents and committed workers, all of which she said, are key elements for the building of culturally vibrant and dynamic industries within that sector.
The organizers of the Roundtable are hoping that this dialogue among experts and local stakeholders will provide new insights on what works and does not work to empower creative entrepreneurial communities. Furthermore, the Roundtable will facilitate connections among creative sub-sectors and support paths for collaboration to build on the lessons learned and successful experiences from creative communities in the Americas.
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Creativity has been my life’s work, not only as a painter and sculptor but as a craftsman, designer and mentor. I am passionate about promoting all forms of creativity. However, it is not something that we can just pick up and run with.
We totally ignore the subject in our schools and that is where it has to start. Without that, no amount of Key Stakeholders, Thought Leaders, International Experts, Sub-Sectors and Partnerships will get us where we need to be.
College degrees do not necessarily help. Indeed, this muddled Press Release has all the hallmarks of theory as against practice.
Creativity by its very nature is different to what has gone before. We mistakenly confuse the creativity arts with culture. Culture is repetitive; it is something that everyone feels comfortable with. On the other hand art may be controversial and not immediately accepted or understood. It amounts to a different way of seeing, thinking and doing. As such it is desperately needed in Dominica.